The 2021/22 Season

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Post by Thimmy Wed Dec 08, 2021 11:29 am

I would love to see Favre manage this Arsenal side. I'm a fan of his. Should never have been sacked from Dortmund. Who would want to manage a side who's future depends on signings, though? You're at the mercy of the club's board of finances.

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Post by El Gunner Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:23 pm

@Thimmy wrote:
@El Gunner wrote:fact of the matter might actually just be that Arteta is just a very bad and clueless out of his depth manager, and any decent manager with decent experience can come in and do better than him


No offense intended towards Hans, but that sounds more like Hans' common, problem-finding pattern than anything factual. I don't know how competent or incompetent Arteta is. I keep hearing that he's an awful manager, not only on the internet, but from colleagues who support Arsenal, as well.

But beyond Arteta, I see a lot of mediocrity in every part of this Arsenal team, and I wouldn't assume that a different manager is going to be able to sustainably change that situation. What style of football does this team excel at? Is there a manager that would complement that style of football? I can't imagine that anything would change for the better if you were to bring in someone like Mourinho or Conte, who specialize in a type of football that Arsenal simply don't have the players for, at all.

i see this take going around a lot as well but it's is an overblown thought tbh. We do not have the best squad sure, but the squad is severely underperforming. Most of squad is internationally capped. If you've watched Arsenal play the past few years you will notice there is clear talent and heaps of potential in players like Saka, ESR, Martinelli and even our new defensive 4 and goalie is relatively young and has looked good outside of the games vs the top teams.

There is groundwork to build something on. I refuse to believe this squad is too bad to get anything out of that resembles a solid style of football and identity, and a way forward.
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Post by Thimmy Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:48 pm

You definitely do have some young, offensive individuals with a lot of promise, but you still seem to struggle to score, and the one that typically has been providing the goals is a 32 year old, out of form Aubameyang who seems to have a wavering level of motivation. The other is 30.

I was a fan of Nicolas Pepe when I watched him at Lille, but he hasn't looked very convincing on the few occasions that I've seen him play for Arsenal. Considering how much he cost you, that seems like a poor return on investment. I'm definitely no expert on your current crop of defenders, but you seem to leak goals every time I watch you play. That might be Arteta's fault for all I know, but the truth is usually a bit more complicated than that.
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Post by mani88 Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:52 pm

Arteta is a defensive coach. No matter how he is flailing his arms at the touch line asking the team to go up, since he has arrived players are positioned to avoid a transition rather than being in an attacking position where they can create or score. For sure there is an associated risk but its not like we have stopped conceding goals. Our GD is the worst of all top 10 currently.

Since he has arrived our goals have dried up. We have scored less goals than Salah this season. No matter who plays up front, Auba. Laca. Nketiah. Martinelli, Balogun all of them appear isolated. No service provided to the CF. No balls played through the middle at the feet. All he gets is crosses from full backs or hopeful long balls from Center backs.

Even if we luckily finish in top 4 we do not belong there so it will just be more pain watching the team get trashed in the group stage. One other problem is the acceptance of mediocrity. There are players who do not deserve to start or even be in the squad but they keep on logging starts.

We are currently very bad at finishing. Combine that with low chance creation and all we are dependent on to score is, luck. Except for tottenham game we have been riding lady luck for most part of the season. The way Hassenhutl plays we are in for another tough game this saturday.
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Post by MJ Wed Dec 08, 2021 5:48 pm

I don't think this squad is much better than where we are tbh. Best I can see this squad finish is 5th if a lot goes right. 4th is a very slim chance.

But realistically and in terms of current talent, we're somewhere in the range of 8th-6th.

On the other hand - because it's such a young squad - that could change as they develop.
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Post by El Gunner Wed Dec 08, 2021 6:06 pm

it's not a matter of where you see the squad finishing as much as how the squad is playing...
are they developing good habits?
can you see a distinct sign of identity and functional gameplans in the team?
can you see noticeable improvement from when Arteta started vs now?

we all know what the single clear answer is to all those questions
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Post by Hapless_Hans Wed Dec 08, 2021 6:10 pm

the good thing about Favre is that he's good immediately, like Tuchel he's usually strongest in his first year at a club. So I think he makes an excellent interim solution.
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Post by Thimmy Wed Dec 08, 2021 7:35 pm

I assume Favre would've still been a popular figure at Dortmund, if he hadn't been sacked so suddenly. The team couldn't cope with the injury absences and Sancho going through a spell of poor form. They played some sexy football under him when everyone were fit, and I have yet to see quite the same level of cohesion under Marco Rose.

Sancho may not be around anymore, but Bellingham has turned out to be a surprisingly good addition to the starting XI. Not quite as flashy as Sancho, but an incredibly imposing presence at a mere 18 years old. Does Michael Zorc get any kind of recognition for his achievements as a sporting director, Hans? I imagine he must have quite an impressive CV. It will be a huge loss for Dortmund, once he's replaced by Kehl.
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Post by Hapless_Hans Thu Dec 09, 2021 4:41 am

Zorc is treated like a genius by everyone, if anything he gets far too little recognition for the perpetual massive transfer blunders he's done as well
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Post by El Gunner Sat Dec 11, 2021 9:43 am

no Aubameyang in the squad due to disciplinary reasons... just another example of the attitude problems going on at the club and that Arteta doesn't have everyone on board.

lose today, and he might walk before the end of the year
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Post by MJ Sat Dec 11, 2021 12:09 pm

Second time Auba has been dropped for disciplinary reasons and we've won in spite of it. If this were a crucial player in good form, the narrative would be different but I'm fine with it.

Interesting that Pepe got 10 minutes at the end. Looks like Arteta is aware that he can't have two of our most expensive players out in the cold simultatenously.

Great second half performance. Yes, Southampton are trash, but that was the kind of result and mentality that we've wanted. Perfect bounce back.
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Post by MJ Tue Dec 14, 2021 10:10 am

Auba stripped of club captaincy following his later than agreed return to England last week.

Arteta suggests Laca or Xhaka could wear the armband but that he's not in a rush to decide the next long-term captain.

On the one hand, non-negotiables and all that. On the other, this is a very dramatic public spanking that is difficult to see Auba coming back from. Maybe after a few more results and AFCON he comes back and the temperature isn't as high, but this is a lot to put aside.

If Nketiah believes in his own quality, he should look around him and sign a new deal.
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Post by mani88 Tue Dec 14, 2021 2:01 pm

I think It is a bad decision given the timing of it and more importantly due to the lack of replacement. Xhaka would not be a good choice given his past history. Lacazette is gone in the summer. Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel are too new. Saka, ESR and Martinelli are too young. All in all we are left with Partey or Tierney. Both of whom are looking to get in form since they have joined the club (too injury prone).

We also have two captains (Wilshere and Ramsey) available in the January market we can buy. drinking
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Post by El Gunner Tue Dec 14, 2021 2:16 pm

@mani88 wrote:We also have two captains (Wilshere and Ramsey) available in the January market we can buy.
pls behave yourself

my pick is Gabriel, Tierney too injury prone
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Post by Jay29 Wed Dec 15, 2021 6:57 pm

Frankly, the short-termism is exhausting now. I don't know where Arsenal will be at the end of the season, but for all the negativity about Arteta and his football, we're 4th place after 17 games and six points better off than this point last season. It's the first time we've been in the top four after 10 games for 40 months. However you feel about the way we've gotten there, that is objective improvement.

I'm looking at the underlying stats now. Arsenal 4th on xG and 5th on expected points, which are big improvements on last season when they were consistently between 8th-10th for both metrics. It's good if these are trending in the right direction since it represents a level of consistent performance. It doesn't always translate into the right results - sometimes you're unlucky, or lose out on a close game - but we're not seeing a case of Arsenal grinding their way up the table with questionable displays. Most of Arsenal's wins have been convincing and deserved.

Of course, there are caveats. It's not all great. Most of Arsenal's wins have come against the league's weakest opposition (Newcastle, Southampton, Burnley, Norwich and Watford). Wins against Spurs and West Ham were excellent, but both were at home. 5 of the 6 defeats have been away from home, including two hidings against Liverpool and City. The performances were poor in a lot of those games. If the trend continues then yes, Arsenal probably won't finish top six and there's justification for sacking the manager.

Now I want to talk about expectations and short-termism. We always talk about where Arsenal "should" be, but where is that, honestly? Right now, I wouldn't say it's the top four. There four other teams with stronger squads and better, more experienced coaches. Europa League is more reasonable. Challenging, given Spurs, Leicester and West Ham are good teams, but doable, because Arsenal have beaten all three of those teams this season and are showing consistency against weaker teams. Arsenal are on target to achieve that this year, yet all I'm seeing is unhappiness. I've got Hans telling me I'm being illogical because I don't think Arteta should be sacked right now and El Gunner telling me the team hasn't improved at all, and I just don't know what to say anymore. One 10 game unbeaten run this season is met with mild optimism but 3 defeats in 4 is a massive crisis.

To be clear, this isn't me saying I'm right and everyone else is wrong. Everyone wants the club to do well and has different ideas how it should being doing that. I've been proven wrong plenty of times and will continue to be so. I just can't be arsed with the disproportionate rhetoric anymore. The good things the team does are always caveated. We win but it wasn't entertaining enough, the opposition were bad, we score three goals and control most of the game but one iffy period and Arteta is a coward, Arteta is mishandling players, and so on. The bad things the team does are met with the most extreme reactions. Sell this player, sack the manager, rip it up and start again, something's rotten at the club, etc. It's hard keeping up with discussion when the goalposts are constantly being moved.

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Post by El Gunner Wed Dec 15, 2021 7:09 pm

that sounds cool and all, but where was this energy after the Everton result?
you're a victim of your own "short-terminism" too it seems

you'll intrigue me with signs of improvement if we play more consistent football over a long stretch of games, when we show up to Liverpool and City and not pull down our pants, and even more so if Arteta can actually pull off top 4 this season (which a decent coach with our squad should in all honesty try their best to aim for seeing how shit Man Utd also are).

there's no point feeling optimistic if we look good one game (West Ham were shit today tbh) and we looked absolutely abysmal just two games ago vs Everton.

Also for some reason we seem to play better home than away, so i wouldn't be surprised at all if we see some pretty dire football vs Leeds this weekend
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Post by MJ Fri Dec 17, 2021 9:28 am

Agree with you Jay. It's very disheartening to see so much gloom and anger after losses but little to no recognition of the positives in some very enjoyable football, proper Arsenal players coming through, and genuine signs of growth in a young squad that has had and will continue to have its ups and downs.

Everyone is entitled to feel how they feel. Being a dedicated fan can be emotionally draining and lord knows Arsenal have given us our fair share of demoralizing nights. But if we have an objective view, it's safe to say that we should expect inconsistency. Growth isn't linear and this is a young team with a young coach. It's going to feel like two steps forward and three steps sideways at times. We are where we are in a rebuild. It's also important to put it in context. This isn't the Premier League of a decade ago. Clubs are a lot smarter with their planning and as a club that's only now catching up, it makes sense that we're aiming for top 6. Not every loss has to be referendum.

But the problem is that after every game, we either overdose on hopium and come crashing down in the next one (guilty). Or every loss just confirms the negative outlook we had on things to begin with. Expectations are a killer. It's okay to enjoy a game for what it is sometimes. I like watching Martinelli!

Genuinely makes me sad to check GL since I've been back. We lose a game? 12 new posts, everyone who tries to give perspective or balance things out is an idiot. We win? Radio silence.

If you look at where we were a year ago and where we are now and see nothing to feel good about, all I can say is that sucks. Martinelli is good at football!
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Post by futbol_bill Fri Dec 17, 2021 12:28 pm

@Jay, I think what you are seeing is just typical GL. We have the same thing happening with our club all the time. I’m talking about the club’s actual fans, not the outsiders taking shots.
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Post by El Gunner Fri Dec 17, 2021 4:59 pm

@MJ wrote:Agree with you Jay. It's very disheartening to see so much gloom and anger after losses but little to no recognition of the positives in some very enjoyable football, proper Arsenal players coming through, and genuine signs of growth in a young squad that has had and will continue to have its ups and downs.

Everyone is entitled to feel how they feel. Being a dedicated fan can be emotionally draining and lord knows Arsenal have given us our fair share of demoralizing nights. But if we have an objective view, it's safe to say that we should expect inconsistency. Growth isn't linear and this is a young team with a young coach. It's going to feel like two steps forward and three steps sideways at times. We are where we are in a rebuild. It's also important to put it in context. This isn't the Premier League of a decade ago. Clubs are a lot smarter with their planning and as a club that's only now catching up, it makes sense that we're aiming for top 6. Not every loss has to be referendum.

But the problem is that after every game, we either overdose on hopium and come crashing down in the next one (guilty). Or every loss just confirms the negative outlook we had on things to begin with. Expectations are a killer. It's okay to enjoy a game for what it is sometimes. I like watching Martinelli!

Genuinely makes me sad to check GL since I've been back. We lose a game? 12 new posts, everyone who tries to give perspective or balance things out is an idiot. We win? Radio silence.

If you look at where we were a year ago and where we are now and see nothing to feel good about, all I can say is that sucks. Martinelli is good at football!

I like watching Martinelli too! And ESR more so, and Saka too!

taking out your frustration in a forum post doesn't always = doom and gloom, complete negativity. And it can be productive and constructive to talk about how and where you need to improve.

What can i say? I just don't like Artetaball. That's pretty plain and simple, it's not me trying to take the fun out of the rest of the poster's experience of Arsenal. I don't see his impact, his imprint (aside from sitting deep when we go a goal up, and having no clue how to play attacking football) or what he is building towards.
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Post by El Gunner Sat Dec 18, 2021 2:49 pm

Good win, good performance.
If we can get all of Emile, Gabi, Saka and Odegaard to play at a top level it would be ideal because then we can interchange them based on form, and give one rest at all times.

I still believe it has to end up being Emile in the 10 position because he's too good to be on the bench, but credit to Odegaard for making Arteta have to choose atm.
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Post by silver Sat Dec 18, 2021 3:14 pm

They play very different games. ESR is a dribbler, short passing, plays the 1-2s, moves in and out, left and right to create triangles and space. Odegaard's strength is his long passing and through balls, dropping between the lines into pockets of space, turning, then using his passing range.

Frankly I think we play better with Odegaard in the 10, mixing up our attack. Don't want to fall back into the style of slow short passing trying to pass the ball into the net. ESR is more suited on the left.

But this is one of the very few times we dont have an injury somewhere. So its not exactly a big problem 90% of the time. If Liverpool can have one of Jota/Firmino on the bench we can stand to have some depth on the bench.
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Post by El Gunner Sat Dec 18, 2021 6:04 pm

@silver wrote:Frankly I think we play better with Odegaard in the 10, mixing up our attack.
he's an option sure, and yes they play different styles. But i don't think him playing there makes us clear cut better (we've looked good too with ESR playing 10). Odegaard hasn't shown any long stretches of consistency yet to make such a conclusion imo, but yes when he has had a good game here and there (like today) it looks promising for what he can bring into the team with his passing.

But Emile is clearly the better, allround more promising player. And it may eventually just come down to him having to fit into that 10 role to get game time if Martinelli and Saka is undroppable, that's my point.
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Post by mani88 Sun Dec 19, 2021 3:29 am

The team is playing very differently now. The intensity is very visible. Especially when we press. Lacazette in the front four makes others click as a result of his link up play. Odegaard is threading balls through the lines. Having a set back four is also reaping rewards now.

Also, is it only me that every year we have a dilemma of contract renewal. Walcott, Sanchez, Ozil, Ramsey, Auba and now Lacazette. Last year of the contract and they start being in the form of their life. If past is anything to go by, giving huge contracts has always backfired on the club.

Lastly, completely agree with Jay. May be I also am part of the problem here but trust me losing to City, Chelsea, Liverpool etc although hurts but is understandable due to the difference of quality on show. Its the basic mistakes that has cost us games against smaller teams which makes me angry and hence the response. The lost points at Brentford, Palace, Brighton, Everton and to some extent United were very hard to digest.
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Post by El Gunner Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:17 am

i wouldn't mind Lacazette on a reasonable one or two year contract as a plug and play option. But we must sell Auba and get a main striker replacement.

there's been rumblings about Greenwood being unhappy at Utd and looking for a move, if we can get him that would brilliant. Fits the timeline of our other young attackers, can play up top or on the flanks so adds more flexibility to our attack too. I see him more as a Pepe replacement.
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Post by silver Tue Dec 21, 2021 10:32 pm

We played 4-3-3 today with Odegaard and ESR as #8s and Elneny as a single pivot. That was switched in the second half with Xhaka coming on. I thought we played better with Xhaka. Granted I was only half watching the game and you can't tell much given the opposition.

Nketiah scored an amazing hat-trick. Balogun was rather raw. They need to convince Nketiah to stay next season. Our striker situation next season is dire.
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Post by El Gunner Sun Dec 26, 2021 12:32 pm

another good performance

let's keep it rolling
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